‘Sorry, but I must have missed your tenure as England manager.’
Indubitably, the Rodent’s most infamous quote. Yet it was a rather different quote of his that struck me. It’s relevance still resonates today.
‘The only difference is that it won’t be in a Norwich shirt, but I’ve had a couple of targets in mind for three or four months now that – I hope – will become new heroes. But you can’t spend your life in the past.‘
I don’t know why, but this quote always stayed with me. Some of you will have worked out the reference point, for those who haven’t, cast your mind back to spring 2008, when we said goodbye to one Darren Huckerby. I was absolutely gutted.
As a fan since 1993, my supporters journey had seen high profile player, nay hero, after high profile player plucked from us. Fox, Sutton, Ward, Newsome, Keith O’Neill, Eadie, Andy Johnson… ad Infinitum.
And the incomings who replaced them were most definitely not of the ‘well known‘ variety. Most didn’t work out: K.Scott (take your pick), Howie, Brellier, Killen.
Some worked out rather well, but had had modest careers prior to signing; Drury, Roberts, Ashton to name a few.
And a few did very well who had had Un noteworthy careers prior to joining; Gary Holt, Mulryne, Drury, Grant Holt.
But to my mind, we had never signed a ‘really well known’ player. Yet in the summer of 2003, we did. Enter Darren Huckerby. I was ecstatic. What a signing. A real statement of intent. Worthy laid a marker down and boy did he deliver.
And no one saw his departure coming. Here one season and storming it… gone the next. I honestly believe he had several more seasons in him. Such a shame.
Yet the ‘new hero’ that the Rodent was indeed referring to, was none other than Wesley Hoolahan. Debatably more successful than Hucks…. but in any event a new hero. And when Wessi departed our hallowed turf, more than a few shed a tear or two.
I’d even go so far as to hazard a guess that some of those tear shedders were none too pleased at his replacing Hucks (myself included). But on his departure, we welcomed the new heroes into the fold: Maddison, Buendia, Pukki.
And indeed we will welcome more to come. As one door closes another opens. We may lose the heralded five… we may lose some or indeed none of them. But what’s for certain is we will have new superstars to cheer and new superstars to break our hearts when they finally depart.
Will be it current players such as Martin or Idah, or new signings; Placheta, Hugill, Dowell or Skipp. Who knows.
But I for one, can’t wait to find out.
Oh, and if you’re interested in reading the entire transcript of Roeder’s interview, then click on the link below. It’s amazing what a Google search throws up.